Jaco, Costa Rica hosted the INS ISA World Surfing Games and it was an event to remember
Photo Credit: ISA / Pablo Jimenez
After eight days of the world-class ISA surfing competition at the 2016 INS ISA World Surfing Games in Playa Jacó, Costa Rica, Team Peru has come out on top and won the Team Gold Medal, along with the coveted Fernando Aguerre World Team Trophy. This will be the second Gold Medal victory for Team Peru in just three years, as they also took the gold in 2014 in Peru. Following up with second, third and fourth, Team Portugal took the Silver, Team USA took the Bronze and Team France walked away with the Copper.
USA emerged victorious in the Final of the ISA Aloha Cup. Team Argentina earned the Silver Medal, Team Costa Rica the Bronze Medal and Team New Zealand the Copper Medal.
And finally, Tia Blanco (USA) became the Women’s Gold Medalist for the second consecutive year, repeating her 2015 performance at the ISA World Surfing Games in Nicaragua, and Leandro Usuna (ARG) was crowned Men’s Gold Medalist for the second time in three years, after winning the 2014 Men’s Gold Medal in Peru.
Gold – Leandro Usuna (ARG)
Silver – Lucca Mesinas (PER)
Bronze – Noe Mar McGonagle (CRC)
Copper – Francisco Bellorin (VEN)
Gold – Tia Blanco (USA)
Silver – Dominic Barona (VEN)
Bronze – Pauline Ado (FRA)
Copper – Justine Dupont (FRA)
In attendance were 142 athletes from 26 National Teams, which travelled from around the world to compete. The 26 National Surfing Teams that will compete at Playa Jacó were:
Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela.
The ceremony began with the Parade of Nations, as each National Team marched down the streets of Playa Jacó, amidst an energized crowd of fans, waving their national flags and performing national chants in unison. The parade continued to the Opening Ceremony stage located at the contest venue where the Costa Rican National Anthem opened the festivities. There, ISA Vice President, Casper Steinfath, addressed the crowd of thousands on the beach in Playa Jacó.
“A special thank you to the beautiful country of Costa Rica and all its welcoming people for giving us all such a warm welcome. Costa Rica truly is a surfing nation of the World and we are grateful that they will be sharing their amazing waves with us all this week.
Noe Mar McGonagle, the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games Men’s Gold Medalist, expressed his enthusiasm ahead of competing in his local waves in Costa Rica.
“It feels really good to be back here in Costa Rica. This will be the first ISA World Surfing Games here after the 2009 edition which had a lot of people and an incredible crowd. There are a lot of teams competing this year and it looks like we are going to have good waves. It will make for an exciting competition.”
The Games got off to an explosive start on the first day of competition at Playa Jacó, Costa Rica as the Open Men competitors from the 26 National Surfing Teams all gave it their best shot.
Playa Jacó showed the international field of surfers the wide spectrum of conditions that it can feature. With Jacó’s extreme tide swings and moody weather, with conditions varying from glassy and sunshine to gusty rain squalls, it was a competition to remember.
Offering congratulations after the finals, ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said, “Congratulations to the Team Gold Medalist, Team Peru, and the individual Gold Medalists Tia Blanco and Leandro Usuna. Tia and Leandro will forever be the very first ISA gold medalists of the Olympic Surfing cycle. As all the other ISA competitors, they surfed in true Olympic spirit, for the honor of representing their countries.” Going on, he concluded, “Twenty-seven nations came together from around the world to surf in this history-making ISA World Surfing Games, for a phenomenal week of surfing and team camaraderie. Since 1964, the ISA has been the global surfing stage for all the surfing nations. And this event has been the very first one after the IOC inclusion of Surfing into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Now all surfers in the world, have the chance of becoming Olympians, the first ever Olympic surfers”.